Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.


Elliptical view of galaxies past

How and when galaxies assembled their mass to become the structures seen today are among astronomy's big outstanding questions. A comprehensive study of nearby galaxies provides a new angle on the issue.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1: Without looking back.


  1. Jimenez, R., Bernardi, M., Haiman, Z., Panter, B. & Heavens, A. F. Astrophys. J. 669, 947–951 (2007).

    Article  CAS  ADS  Google Scholar 

  2. Springel, V. et al. Nature 435, 629–636 (2005).

    Article  CAS  ADS  Google Scholar 

  3. Renzini, A. Annu. Rev. Astron. Astrophys. 44, 141–192 (2006).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  4. Cimatti, A., Daddi, E. & Renzini, A. Astron. Astrophys. 453, L29–L33 (2006).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  5. Bundy, K., Treu, T. & Ellis, R. S. E. Astrophys. J. 665, L5–L8 (2007).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  6. Cimatti, A. et al. Nature 430, 184–187 (2004).

    Article  CAS  ADS  Google Scholar 


  8. Cowie, L., Songaila, A., Hu, E. M. & Cohen, J. G. Astron. J. 112, 839–864 (1996).

    Article  CAS  ADS  Google Scholar 

  9. Gavazzi, G. & Scodeggio, M. Astron. Astrophys. 312, L29–L32 (1996).

    CAS  ADS  Google Scholar 

  10. Thomas, D., Maraston, C., Bender, R. & Mendes de Oliveira, C. Astrophys. J. 621, 673–694 (2005).

    Article  CAS  ADS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Cimatti, A. Elliptical view of galaxies past. Nature 451, 253–254 (2008).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing